SolarStratos’ first foreign trip to Quebec in Canada in June was declared a huge success!
During the first half of the trip, the aircraft was at the heart of the Northern Solar Festival in Montreal and the star attraction for thousands of visitors! To celebrate the closing of this event, the Swiss Consulate organised a Swiss evening with röstis, raclette and fondue in the land of reindeer. Ah, Switzerland! We love it and we love its flavours!
During the second half of the trip, between the 19 and 22 June, the Metropolis World Congress gathered 150 mayors from the world’s largest cities at a conference. SolarStratos was due to conduct a first historic flight at this event, but was grounded due to bad weather. Instead Raphael took the opportunity to deliver an impressive and engaging lecture to close the event.
As the month of June comes to a close, the aircraft is somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean tucked away in its container. When it arrives in Europe in mid-July, it will be returned to its cradle in Hurlach, Germany, for some work. As for the SolarStratos team, they are concentrating on the next step which will be to reach 10,000 metres of altitude by the end of 2017.
SolarStratos may be back in Europe, but the team still has a presence in Central Asia, at the International Expo’s Swiss pavilion in Astana, Kazakhstan, where visitors can learn about our mission at the edge of space until the 10 September.
Headquartered in St-Prex, Fischer Connectors, a Swiss multinational specializing in high-reliability and high-quality connectivity, becomes our Official Partner! Fischer Connectors will be in charge of developing specific lightweight and resistant solutions to extreme conditions for our solar airplane, allowing us to connect our various onboard cameras!
Presence Switzerland, the branch of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs tasked with promoting Switzerland globally, comes onboard as our new institutional partner.
Thank you very much to both partners for your trust and support!
More good news, particularly on the topic of partnerships, will be announced in August, but first it is holiday time. If you are planning a break, enjoy it! And don’t forget to stay posted on our news through our social networks.
With solar best wishes,
Raphael and the SolarStratos team
There is no respite for the SolarStratos team! There is barely time to savour the success of their maiden flight before they move on to the next phase of the operation!
The next step takes the team to Canada in June where SolarStratos will be the guest of honour at the Festival Nordique du Quebec in Montreal from the 15-22 June. During the second half of the event, from 19-22 June, 130 mayors from the largest cities in the world will gather in Montreal for the Metropolis Congress. For a few intense days, Raphael will give lectures and the public will have an opportunity to admire the plane, based near the Old Port. The event will culminate in an exhibition flight over the St Lawrence River.
Wondering how the aircraft is travelling to Canada?
The plane was dismantled on 19 May and stored in its trailer, which was then placed in a 40ft container. It left on the month-long voyage by ship from Basel, via Rotterdam and is due to arrive in Canada in mid-June. This solution not only makes it possible to optimise the transport costs and the carbon footprint, but also to take the plane anywhere in the world – even to the heart of a city.
We are looking forward to sharing our solar bird with our neighbours across the Atlantic and of course we have you to thank you for it. Without the unwavering support of our Club members (have you joined?) and above all, our partners, none of this would be possible.
We would like to take advantage of this newsletter to welcome our new Official Suppliers: OPAN concept, Leuba Group and Henniez. Thank you for believing in SolarStratos!
Thanks to all our partners, we are making the helio-stratospheric dream come true.
Until next month!
Raphael and the SolarStratos Team
What an incredible adventure! Beads of perspiration gathered on our brows and a cold sweat ran down our backs, but after several weeks of hard work, our labour finally paid off! We got there! SolarStratos flies!
On Friday, the 5th of May 2017, our test pilot Damian Hischier took command of the aircraft. The taxiing tests on the tarmac and the runway were conclusive. The Federal Office of Civil Aviation issued our ‘permit to fly’. We were ready. All that remained was for SolarStratos to take off. No small feat for a prototype!
Imagine for just a moment the emotion when Damian lined up ready for take-off. The whole team was willing it to go well. The plane was lined up, there was no wind. Damian engaged the full power of the electric motors and the plane started to move forward. It gathered speed, faster and faster, (as did our heartrates!) and then all of a sudden, the wheels left the ground. The ultimate adrenalin rush was swiftly followed by a fleeting moment of disbelief before we all exploded with joy!
“We did it!” exclaimed Raphael, feeling the same sensations as seven years ago when PlanetSolar was launched in north Germany. At these moments, the emotions eclipse any of the tough times. Pride and joy merge with memories of all the sacrifices that led to this historic moment on the SolarStratos journey.
With this step completed, we can look forward to the next adventures with peace of mind. Of course, the road to flying at very high altitude is long, but we are confident of getting there. The intention is to get there step by step with confidence.
Our current objective is for Raphael and his co-pilot, Thierry Plojoux, to master SolarStratos so that we can demonstrate the aircraft’s flight capabilities at a major event in Quebec in June.
We will tell you more about this soon, but in the meantime, stay up to date on our progress via our social media networks or through our monthly newsletter. And don’t forget this eco-adventure belongs to you too! Don’t hesitate to sign up to our Club if you haven’t already, and spread the word! Together we will reach the edge of Space powered by solar-energy.
Thank you for your support and see you in a month! We wish you a good start to Spring.
Raphael and the SolarStratos team
That’s it! The 3 axes simulator of SolarStratos was unveiled to the public during the first day of the Numerik Games Festival in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, with a demonstration of Raphaël Domjan.